Mark Memmott

When we met with everyone last year to talk about how to reduce the number of mistakes we were making, we set a goal to cut in half the number of corrections we were posting each month. The average then was just over 100 a month.

We reached our goal in September. Thank you!

The biggest factor, from what I've observed, has been a doubling down on double-checking our facts. Don't stop doing that.

Because the document released by the White House is not a word-for-word record of the conversation President Trump had with the president of Ukraine, please do not simply refer to it as a "transcript." If you use that word, it must be followed by a phrase such as "based on notes taken by staff assigned to listen." Better ways to first reference it include: "an account of the call" or a "memorandum." It is also important to note that it was released by the White House.

We are changing the way we spell the capital of Ukraine to Kyiv, from Kiev. This brings us in line with The Associated Press, with the way Ukrainians would spell it in English and with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. It does not change the pronunciation.

While we're dealing with that part of the world, a reminder: Do not say or write "the Ukraine." It is simply "Ukraine."

As we've had to say too often, thank you for getting so many things right as we've covered the latest mass shootings.

Here's one thing to continue keeping in mind:

The man accused of the mass shooting in El Paso is reported to have written what he referred to as a "meh manifesto." We have been referring to it as a "manifesto." This note is just a reminder that as we report about such statements we should continue to carefully consider how we use the word in order to be as precise as possible, but not diminish its meaning with overuse. Many thanks to those who contributed to the discussion about this.

If a report we're doing is embargoed, the DACS line must read as follows, asterisks and all:


NPR's [insert name of correspondent or NPR desk] has an exclusive.

This story is embargoed until [time ET]. We will post more about it here at that time.


More about the report should be entered into the Newsflex "notes" field. Here's how to do that:

The R. Kelly and Jeffrey Epstein cases include accusations that they sexually assaulted and exploited minors – girls, in these cases.

On a few occasions recently we've said or written "Customs and Border Patrol." That's a mistake.

Please remember: the agency's name ends with "Protection," not "Patrol."

It's Customs and Border Protection.

True, there is a United States Border Patrol within the agency. The Border Patrol has agents and officers.

But, again, there is no agency called "Customs and Border Patrol."

It's highly likely there will be things happening on and around the National Mall tomorrow that lead to videos, tweets, photos and other social media reports that go viral. Here are some reminders from an earlier post:

- We don't necessarily have to report about them until we have more to say than that they exist.

- One video [tweet, etc.] may not tell a complete story.

We agree with The Associated Press on this:

"Do not refer to the child of unmarried parents as illegitimate. If it is pertinent to the story at all, use an expression such as whose parents were not married." 

In 2011, when he was NPR's public editor, Edward Schumacher-Matos wrote that "illegitimate" and other "pejorative birth labels attached to children were never fair."